In this edition of Tuesday Reviewsday, our weekly new music segment, Shirley Halperin — music editor at Billboard Magazine — spoke to Alex Cohen ibout some fantastic new female acts, starting with a New Zealand act called Broods.
Songs: “Mother & Father,” “Bridges”
Summary: Let's start off with the brother-sister duo called Broods. They come from New Zealand and you can hear in their sound a cue to a fellow Kiwi by the stage name of... Lorde.
That’s no coincidence — Broods, who are where siblings Caleb and Georgia Nott (22 and 20), share a producer with Lorde, Joel Little, who helmed her breakthrough album "Pure Heroine" and of course the song “Royals.”
With Broods, you can see a similar path to cross the Pacific and make a mark here in the U.S.
Now those who were at Sam Smith’s shows at the Greek Theater last week, and got there early enough to catch the opener, may have seen Broods’ understated, monochromatic set. I was there and definitely noticed the ebb and flow between these two twentysomethings – how Caleb stays to the left side surrounded by keyboards, computers and effects almost like it's a protective force while Georgia slinks and twitches nearby free as a butterfly.
They sounded and looked great and it’s no wonder a major label like Capitol Records would scoop them up and put them on the road with one of their more high profile artists.
Artist: Tove Lo
Album: "Queen of the Clouds"
Songs: “Habits (Stay High),” “Timebomb”
Summary: Tove Lo's another international young talent, but she's from Sweden.
Lo's been building buzz gradually over the last year or so largely due to the song “Habits,” which you may recognize.
Tove Lo joins a slew of female artists currently ascending the charts, including Ariana Grande and Jessie J, who we talked about a few weeks ago, Meghan Trainor, who’s #1 this week with “All About That Bass.” Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora, each of which have something unique to offer — Ariana has that chirpy falsetto, Rita can belt, Iggy can rap.
What Tove Lo offers to the world is borderline NSFW lyrics and highly suggestive sexual themes. In other words, this is not an album you want to sing along to with young children in the backseat.
I’ll give you an example from the clean version of the album, the song – ahem - “Like Em Young” where Tove sings, “Hey girl, why you judging me when your guy’s turning 53.”
And the opening introduction to the album is simply called “The Sex.”
But musically, Tove Lo twists and turns in so many unexpected ways that it makes her even harder to define. Take a listen, for instance, to the song “Timebomb” and the way she flows.